Thursday, March 19, 2009

Digitize Your Life

I've been giving serious thought (and follow through) to the idea of digitizing my life. That is, to collect all the papers and things I have, and I have boxes of them, then scanning them and putting them on a hard drive, then getting rid of the papers.

There are several issues involved though. Including the time it takes to do that. I see there are faster scanners but I hate to have to spend a lot of money getting a new scanner. My present scanner is fairly slow but still I could get the job done. Being slow, though, each stack of paper is almost like a mountain. Each one has to be put in there, given a file name, then hope I could ever find it again if I needed it; likely I won't need each and every one.

Another issue is the reliability of hard drives. How do I know that the hard drive I have will be working five years from now? But the stack of paper I know would likely make it, excluding a fire or some other disaster. Should I make copies of copies of copies, multiple hard drives, burning CDs and DVDs? Then if something gets renamed it can be very confusing. I have a certain sentimentality about some of the papers but not much. It's just I'd like to be able to reference one if I ever needed to. To digitize it all, though, is spending time on things, in addition, that I will never need.

I see also that they have scanners that can make the scans into searchable pdf files. Well, at this point, who knows, maybe that's a level of detail I don't need. Still, it sounds like something that would make everything easier to find.

I've been doing a little of this over the years. I am gung ho for it for a while, but then the enormity of the task usually wears down my resolve.

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